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Trials and Investigations key findings summary report released

To align with the release of the draft Coorong Restoration Roadmap, HCHB has released the Trials and Investigations Project key findings report.

Trials and Investigations key findings summary report released
Monitoring plants and algae in the Coorong for the HCHB Scientific Trials and Investigations project

The Scientific Trials and Investigations (T&I) program (2019- 2022) was specifically designed to identify and address scientific knowledge gaps to inform the development of targeted and effective management actions for the Coorong.

The Project priorities and goals were developed in partnership with the Goyder Institute for Water Research, including scientists from CSIRO, Flinders University, the University of Adelaide, the University of South Australia and the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI). The First Nations knowledge project was led and delivered by the Ngarrindjeri Aboriginal Corporation.

The report outlines the scientific evidence-base to inform management actions to improve the long-term health of the Coorong. Components covered in this publication include:

  • Nutrient dynamics
  • Aquatic plants and algae
  • Food webs
  • Ngarrindjeri knowledge
  • Climate adaptation
  • Science Integration.

The technical reports for the below T&I projects are now publicly available on the DEW website:

A full list of technical publications from the T&I program can be found on the Goyder Institute website.

T&I and the Coorong Restoration Roadmap

Key findings from T&I formed the foundation for the Coorong Restoration Roadmap, which will guide the development of an integrated restoration program, underpinned by recognised restoration standards, best available science, clear policy alignment, and ongoing engagement.

An integrated restoration program will work to improve ecological function and support the ecological character of the Coorong for many years to come, with the overall aim of achieving the ‘desired state’.

In line with these principles, DEW will continue its commitment to involve local communities, First Nations, and key stakeholders in the development and implementation of key restoration actions.

Desired state of the Southern Coorong

The Coorong's desired state is a resilient and naturally variable system, characterised by moderate levels of nutrients and persistent aquatic plants with diverse invertebrates that promote healthy nutrient cycling, thereby enabling the Southern Coorong to provide habitat for native biota.

Mesotrophic conditions

  • Moderate levels of water column chlorophyll a, nitrogen and phosphorous
  • Nutrient exchange between the sediment, water and atmosphere and uptake into aquatic plants

Improved connectivity and flushing

  • Reduced nutrient retention
  • Reduced water residence times

Habitat quality improved

  • Sediments are oxygen rich
  • Black oozes and algal blooms near-absent
  • Abundant and resilient populations of invertebrates, plants, fish and waterbirds

Consultation on the draft Coorong Restoration Roadmap closed on 19 June 2023. When responses are compiled and analysed, feedback will be used to finalise the Roadmap and outcomes will be published.

To find out more about the Roadmap consultation, visit YourSAy.gov.au/roadmap

The Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin program is jointly funded by the Australian Government and the Government of South Australia.

Trials and Investigations key findings summary report released
Monitoring Hooded Plovers in the Coorong wetlands as part of the T&I waterbird project.